But the rest of this convention is straddle and show. The party is for the war in Iraq but against how it was done. The party is for the war on terrorism and yet against it. Convention speakers say they believe in a positive campaign, while denouncing the opposition as evil, venal and stupid.
If it works, why not?
Democratic Party biggies know they can allow hatemonger Michael Moore to sit in the presidents' box, next to the Carters. They know that Jimmy Carter can imply that Bush lied to Congress and America, and the next day, pundits still will marvel at how unusual party discipline muted fevered Bush-bashing.
Now, Team Kerry seeks to convince America that its anti-terrorist approach is "tough and smart," as Kerry intones in his new TV spots. I love how Kerry can be tough and smart -- yet misled to vote for the war by the "uncurious'' George W. Bush.
The latest big non-story here concerned Teresa Heinz Kerry's telling a journalist to "shove it" after lamenting the incivility in political discourse. It's interesting to note that Heinz Kerry snapped after the writer questioned her about her use of the term "un-American."
Heinz Kerry says she became a Democrat after Republicans questioned the patriotism of Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, a wounded Vietnam vet, because of Cleland's opposition to Bush anti-terrorism policies. Yet, at a press conference Tuesday morning, former Clinton foreign-policy adviser Jamie Rubin would push to implement the 9/11 panel's recommendations because: "This isn't about partisanship. It's about patriotism."
An hour later, I watched the disciplined Kerry say the same words on TV. "This isn't about partisanship. It's about patriotism."
Wrong. After watching the Democrats claim the center, the non-partisan, inclusive center, I've come to believe: This isn't about patriotism -- it's about acting.